About Me

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2 kids. Memories of Wolf and Boo. Many dear friends. Three siblings. Two parents. Samarra the crazy dog. The Player and Pi the Cat. I love you all!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Bat Things Happen

(Spoiler alert...everyone seems to be okay today.)

On a day when I did not eat or make any hummus, some bad things happened.   That day was yesterday and the final bad thing in the list was a trip to the ER with my daughter Sierra.   The bad thing that led to the trip to the ER was, apparently (as I was in the house doing some paperwork for my job because of a bad thing that happened in the morning when I accidentally erased an entire patient’s evaluation from my work computer, which is about 30 minutes worth of work)….apparently Sierra, who was playing in the back yard alone, had a plastic baseball bat in her mouth (???) and then fell down. ramming said bat into her mouth.  She came screaming into the house holding the sides of her head which was pretty freaky. Of course her screaming was unintelligible, and then a little blood came out with some slobber, and then she screamed louder.   I finally got her to open her mouth and looked at the back of her throat, her palate, and all looked fine.   Finally I realized that what she was saying was “It’s UNDER my tongue.” Ohhh, yes it was, a fine sized gash there where the frenulum was supposed to be.

If you ask a 7 year old who is dearly afraid of needles “Do you want to go to the hospital?” and they say “Yes” then you drop everything and go. So we did.  Sierra sucked on her t-shirt to keep the pain down and held her pants up over her belly button which for some reason she was afraid someone would see.  At the ER we waited for the guy with rashes all over and chest pain to go ahead of us, then were ushered back to a room with the Disney Channel on TV which may have saved our lives.  The ER nurses were wonderful.  And an hour and a half later we were on our way home after some pain medicine for Sierra and reassurances that all would heal by itself. Just no potato chips for a few days.  Or anything else with texture or flavor.

The moral of this story is, if you don’t eat hummus, then keep the baseball bat our of your kid’s mouth. But Sierra claims the moral of the story is: “I NEVER want to see another baseball bat in my life. “ This could interfere with my other addiction, besides hummus, which is, of course, baseball.

Today I will eat hummus for breakfast. I’m not taking any chances.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Google me

I googled myself, or rather my name, the other day.  And I discovered lots of things about myself that I have done and apparently forgotten.  Fortunately none of them seemed illegal or unethical (whew), but in all my business making, eating and writing about hummus, I had forgotten that --

I’m a realtor in Seattle!

I’m a women’s baseketball coach at Seton Hall!

I’ve run for public office in Virginia!

I’m a freelance writer in New York at work on a book about alligators!

I’m a Franklin Fellow and a Senior Urban and Municipal Services Advisor in USAID’s Water Team.

I played the Apprentice in the 2006 TV Special “Lomax the Songhunter.”

I’m a 3rd year MFA candidate in non-fiction at Columbia.

I once wrote a paper about the poetry of Sexton and Plath.

Well, whaddya know!  And I even have time for my hummus and blog addictions!  But now off to my real job which did not appear in my self-googling efforts.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Some of my favorite things

Sunday I went shopping for a few grocery odds and ends, including chick peas.  To my great delight and surprise, Jewel brand chick peas were on sale for, get this, 39 cents a can.  Ok, I am trying hard not to overuse exclamation points in my writing these days, but.. 39 cents?  Exclamation point to the power of infinity here.  You can bet your tahini bikini I made some hummus outta that,

In another "to my great delight and surprise moment" yesterday, I watched Sunshine Cleaning.  I like Amy and I've adored Alan for a long, long time, but Emily Blunt is awesome.  I loved her in the Jane Austen Book Club and now I'm a fan for life.  FFL.  She's my "favotite" today. 

I also watched Julie and Julia Saturday night, more Amy Adams.  I liked that film and learning more about Julia Child.  I also enjoyed Julie's daily blogging thing which I try to do but do not succeed each day.  Life happens. 

And speaking of life happening, how about that new TV show Parenthood?   Episode 3, the Deep End of the Pool actually had me in tears.  That's not something that commonly happens when I watch TV.  Unless Jean Luc seems to be falling in love with an alien female, of course.  Them tears are REAL.

So there should be some way to bring this blog full circle.  39 cent cans of chick peas.  Emily Blunt.  Jean Luc.  Crying.  Amy Adams and Alan Arkin and Julia Child and tahini and blogs and ...the full circle is making me dizzy.   No more exclamation points until tomorrow.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Mashbooh!

While I was in Chicago I learned a new word:  Halal.  It means "permitted" according to Islamic law.  So restaurants that follow Islamic laws in their food preparation will advertise that their food is "halal."  I saw this word both on the menu for the previously mentioned Petra's Inn, and on the window of a coffeeshop/cafe in my friend Cindy's neighborhood.  The laws seem to mostly revolve around correct slaughtering and preparation of meat and the prohibition of alcohol or other intoxicants.  The opposite of halal is haram, sometimes spelled haraam.  These are the foods that are strictly prohibited.  But there is yet another category:  Mashbooh.  These are the things that are in question.  The grey area, so to speak.  One example would be gelatin, since it involves animal parts that you would not be sure were properly prepared.  The gelatin MIGHT be halal or it might not.  Generally, Islamic law seems to say if you aren't sure and you need to eat, say God's name over the food and proceed to eat.  But that's just my gleanings from a few websites, so my interpretation might even be mashbooh, or in question.

I like the idea that while there are somewhat strict guidelines for food preparation, there is the acknowledgement of some uncertainty.  And I love the sound of the word "mashbooh", sounding a little bit like something my kids might say when they jump out from behind a door to try and scare one another. 

I think hummus is pretty much sure to be halal.  No meat, no blood, no alcohol.  Hummus is probably also kosher, and vegan for that matter.  The perfect food in any part of the world!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Presto!

I did make some hummus yesterday upon arriving home.  First, of course, there was unpacking.  Then laundry.  A little cleaning that I neglected to do before leaving on our trip.  Then a little grocery shopping.  Amazingly I did not even have to buy any of the ingredients for the hummus as they have become standard items in my kitchen.  Though now I may be out of chick peas and will have to check on that later. I hate being chickpealess.  It just feels, well, kind of wrong, like being naked in your dreams  while at school or church. 

After that we went to get our dog.  We missed Mr. Wolf quite a lot and were very happy to see him.  He's happy to be home though I suspect he also misses his new dog-buddy Wilson. 

After all the errands I got around to making hummus.  I did not buy dill pickles, but I wanted to add something new to this hummus.  NO, not bored with plain hummus, just branching out.  I looked through the spice cupboard first.  Now, that makes it sound like I have a whole organized cupboard full of wonderful spices.  No.  What I have is a cupboard where I keep, among other things, some spices that are identifiable and others that are in little bags with no labels from Common Ground (a wunnerful place to get spices especially if you are able to label them and date them yourself which I seem unable to do).   Nothing seemed, well, both appropriate AND safe to add to my hummus.

Next I looked in the cupboard.  Nope.  Finally the fridge.  And there it was on the second shelf, the pesto!  So added a little to the hummus.  Blended.  Tasted.  No discernable change in taste.  Added a little more.  Yes, indeed.  Presto, changeo, Pesto Hummus --mmmmm!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Petra's Inn

Petra's is a little neighborhood "Mediterranean" restaurant on Lawrence Avenue in Chicago.  Last night my friend Cindy got take out for our dinner from this place and it was quite good.  I made a dinner of appetizers:  baba ghanoush and, of course, hummus.  Both were good, eaten with pita bread.  The hummus came with a little topping of chopped tomatoes, onion, cilantro, a sprinkling of olive oil, and in each corner a little piece of dill pickle with cumin sprinkled on it.  Hmm....dill pickles.  Oh, sure dill, the carminative herb!

The food was great.  My hummus drought of 4 days came to an end.  And now Sierra and I are on our way home where I will make hummus and maybe buy some dill pickles to boot!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Historic Bill Passes!

Today Barack Obama will sign into legislation an historic bill that has been decades in the making:  The Hummus Reform Bill.  Beginning today you can no longer be denied hummus on the basis of Pea-existing conditions.  Seniors will be able to eat hummus on their donut holes. Soon all citizens of the US who cannot afford hummus will be eligible for subsidies to provide it for their families.  (Think Double Coupons!!!)

Republicans, however, are calling for the repeal of this bill.  They say that hummus is NOT a right for all Americans.  The GOP, or Garbanzo Opposing Party, is determined to undermine the new legislation and promise that Americans will "have their hamburger or chateaubriand, depending of course on their socioeconomic status, and eat it too" come Novemeber.

The Vegomatic Party says they are not afraid of a bunch of cholestrol-laden, gun-totin', Bible-thumpin', Viagra-needin', white-bread-eatin', fillibuster-usin', Limbaugh-lovin' hummuphobes.  So there!  Nya nya nya!

Stay tuned for more hummus-related developments throughout the week.  Reporting live from Chicago, aka Simone, heading out for the zoo!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Hummus Smackdown

Avocado hummus!  Sweet potato hummus!  HUMMUS PIZZA!  These are recipes I found on the web.  I think even Susan would like Avocado hummus, since she likes avocado and the recipe does not include chickpeas.  Sweet potato hummus, well, now, that is something I would not be wanting to rush out and try since I don't like sweet potatos.  At all.  The hummus pizza looked good, no doubt about it, but included regular hummus on a pre-baked pizza crust then topped with various yummies like olives, thin slices of red onion, cucumber, red pepper, and crumbled feta cheese.  That sure would be a finalist in my own personal hummus smackdown

But wait!  There is also something called Hummus en Fuego (Hummus in Fire!)  The cook/blogger heats up olive oil then adds crushed hot red pepper flakes.  She cools it, keeps it to use in various recipes, calls it FIRE OIL.  She uses that in her hummus and there you have it folks, a blazing hot version of hummus.  Call the firemen now and serve it later!  Oh, wait, I forgot to mention that she also uses walnuts in the recipe for hummus.  Forget the firemen, eat all the hummus yourself!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

PMS

I love Sabra hummus with pine nuts.  I love the flavor and the creamy texture. But of course pine nuts are not really nuts.  They are seeds, from various kinds of pine trees from around the world.   So why do we call them pine nuts?  They should be called pine seeds.  Someone should write a letter about that!

There is a rare condition some people get a day or two after eating pine nuts, called metallogeusia.  Do you have any idea what that means?  If you do, hats off to you.  I had to google it.  It is a lasting taste disturbance in which one has the taste of metal in their mouth.  In the case of "Pine Mouth Syndrome"  (or PMS) it can last as long as 2 weeks after eating the offending pine seeds. Yechh.

In reading about this weird condition, I learned a whole bunch of  -geusia words!  Cacogeusia (any bad taste that isn't usually associated with what you ingested), hypogeusia (diminished sense of taste) and ageusia (no sense of taste).  I didn't find Hummugeusia anywhere, so I guess no one has reported a lingering taste of hummus from eating something else, like, Thin Mints.  (Hmm, why is THAT on my mind?)  I wouldn't mind a short case of chocogeusia or steakogeusia myself, though. 

Friday, March 19, 2010

Hummus in a Hammock

The trampoline is up, the porch swing is out, the grill is on the deck, and the hammock has been hung.  Likewise some rope swings for the kids to pretend they are the Flying Wallendas.  I used to make the kids wear a helmet playing on them but I finally gave up on that.  You gotta choose your battles.

Last night the boy did his evening reading in the hammock.  I loved seeing that and sitting in a chair nearby while he read some outloud, then I read some to him a while.    He is reading Ella Enchanted, but I don't think we'll get to finish it before he leaves on his Spring Break trip.  Maybe I will renew it and we'll finish it when he returns, or we'll get it again in the summer.

I love these warm pre-spring days.  Equinox tomorrow.  I think I will celebrate with hummus in the hammock.  Unless it's snowing.

I did some online searching for any hummus-related holidays.  None to be found.  There are some very interesting holidays that I did find, however.  March is, among other things, "National Caffeine Awareness Month"  and this week is "American Chocolate Week."  So far, so good.  Today, the 19th of March is also "National Chocolate Caramel Day."  So today I think I will need to have some coffee (done), some chocolate and some caramel with my hummus.  In the hammock.  Enchanting!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Green Foods

I confess I did not get around to making green hummus yesterday for St. Patrick's day.  I did have some leftover lamb saag which is very very green and spinachy and delicious.  And I made the kids green milkshakes in the blender.  They were amazed that I could do that.  And they like being Irish!

I ate some more of Kathleen's dill hummus, on ... well, I think I just stuck my finger in the container and swirled it around and then ate it.  Um.  No one else at the house eats hummus, and no one saw me, and I was out of crackers.  Okay, maybe the dog saw me, but he understands.

The weather was definitely spring-like, and spring will officially be here in a few days.  Green things are sprouting in my yard, including some of my bulbs, probably tulips and daffodils, and the hydrangea is showing some green tips.  And I received news that my neighbors and I are IN for "Henry's CSA" which is a vegetable coop through a local organic farmer.  Veggies start to be ready in May and it lasts late into the fall.  So stop by my house on Tuesday nights to see what we get!  Always a surprise.  Maybe something I can use in hummus!!!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Green Hummus

Of course, it's St. Patrick's Day!  And though on St. Patrick's Day "we're ALL Irish", I really am at least 1/4 Irish every day.  So, today I will make hummus and add a little green food coloring, and those of you who are brave can check tomorrow to see the results of my endeavors.  We may have found a way to make that edible pretend puke that Kathleen wants to market.  Can you imagine when people ask what you do for a living and you could, in all seriousness, say "Oh, I made my first million selling edible fake vomit" ?  It would be even better than when people used to ask Mary Doria Russell what her novel was about (back when she only had one) and she would reply "Jesuits in Space!" and then watch them back slowly away.  I think Kathleen would be watching people turn on their heels and run for the hills. 

Back to being Irish, something Irish people (like ME!) love to bring out and flash around, their Irishness.  Today is a celebration of Irish culture, and according to Wikipedia, "celebrated widely in the Irish Diaspora."  I HAVE A DIASPORA!?  No, I'm part of one, I mean, or rather my great-grandparents were.  I thought we were just runnin' from rotten potatoes.  Straight to the coal mines of Southern Illinois.   Diaspora is one of those words that sounds glittery and shiny and pretty but is really code for "get the hell out of Dodge before your whole family dies."  Stilll, the day of St Patrick AND the concept of an Irish diaspora are making me feel pretty special today. 

If I'd been born a male person my parents were planning to name me Patrick.  How about THEM potatoes?

Well, I enjoy being a girl, named Kim, not an Irish name as far as I know.  Not short for Kimberly.  No saints with that name, either.  No holidays with my name in them.  BUT, part of the marketing strategy for our Hummus Products business will need to involve a holiday.  So that will be a topic for another blog.  In the meantime, kiss someone today who might even remotely be Irish...oh, that's right, today we're ALL Irish!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Other Products

I googled Hummus Gum today and couldn't find any!  Maybe this is the idea that will make me rich and infamous!  I didn't find Hummus Shampoo, either, though I did find the following:

Lush's Hybrid solid shampoo has ingredients like organic lemon juice and tahini (you know, the stuff that makes hummus taste so yummy), yet somehow ends up smelling like licorice. It's called Hybrid because this solid bar is also perfectly great for travelers to use as a body soap, and has chunks of cocoa butter that serve as a very mild conditioner.

Okay, this was posted by a Brit in 2006 in response to then-new restrictions on carrying liquid soaps etc onto airplanes after the shoe-bomber attempt.  In a fog of sweet trusting optimism she wrote that the new restrictions probably wouldn't last long but until then at least she had Lush products to take on trips.  HAHAHAHAHA. 

I think a product called "Chick Pea Incontinence Pads" would sell very well among the 60-75 market.  Or what about "Tahini Bikinis" that dissolve once you hit salt water.  Probably men would buy them for their girlfriends and mistresses.  "Garbanzo Bones" for dogs of vegan owners (I first wrote Vegan Dogs which is not something God Intended to exist on this planet.  See Deutoronomy if you aren't sure.) 
I think I'd better stop in case I accidentally give away a really good idea to any of my blog "lurkers" (I know you are there just waiting for one of my gems of brilliance...and waiting and waiting...and...)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Gummin' Hummus

I just remembered I have a dentist appointment today.  I really dislike going to the dentist.  One, I have no dental insurance so I pay for it myself and I really dislike that.  Two, it's either painful (I really really dislike that) or boring (I only dislike that a little bit.)  Three, dental assistants are very nice except that you know you have never flossed up to their standards and they keep trying to carry on a conversation while their fingers are in your mouth flossing like there is no tomorrow (I dislike both of those things moderately.)

So the good news is that hummus is something you can eat without any teeth.  That means if I can't afford to go to the dentist someday that I will still be able to eat my favorite food.  I just won't be able to eat it on crackers or in a fresh green pepper.  (I saw a photo of that today online.  It looked awesome.  I think I will make that soon, while I still have all my chompers!)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Dilly Dally

Yesterday, to my great delight, Kathleen invited me her home for hummus.  Dill hummus.  Tribe brand.  It was delicious.  We ate an odd assortment of crackers and pita (the dregs of our combined cracker collections included a few Triskets of the Garden Herb variety, a few Ritz, and some Saltines.)  We ate and spilled some good cheap red wine (Banrock Station Shiraz.  Banrock being an Australian winery with an active interest in environmental concerns around the world.)   A delightful way to spend the afternoon.

On my way out the door Kathleen gifted me a container of the Tribe Dill hummus.  Yahoo!  I had some last night when I got home because it is just so darned good.  I really love the dill flavor in this hummus.  And the texture is a little less creamy than Sabra brand, which is a nice change and something I could aspire to making on my own in my now-regularly-used food processor.  I have made hummus several times in it (having started with the blender then moved on) and also discovered if you need any flesh removed that the blades work quite well and quickly for that purpose.

I decided to see what I could learn about dill before I tried making my own dill hummus.  Especially since I have had the exploding hummus on my mind, I thought it would be prudent to make sure you don't have to treat the hummus in some special way before adding it to the mix.

I did not find any references to using dill in hummus, but I learned some fascinating things about dill!

1.  Dill is known for it's carminative properties.  Now, I honestly did not have any idea what those properties might be.  And since I ate a lot of dill yesterday I thought it would behoove me to find out what that word meant.  Especially since I am supposed to teach Sunday school in a few hours. What if it meant I'm going to grow a third breast?  Ack.  Somewhere I have a bra for that, if the situation should arise.  But, Gentle Reader, the news is good. Carminative means gas relieving, thereby reducing flatulence.  A good thing when teaching 7 year olds.  No gas.  No explosions. 

2.  In ancient Greek and Roman cultures dill was considered a sign of wealth and was revered for its many healing properties.  The Talmud required tithing of dill!  But Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for tithing dill but ignoring mercy,  justice, and faithfullness.  I guess that's why we have to give money now.  Thanks a lot Jesus. 

3.  Greek and Roman soldiers also placed burned dill seeds on their wounds to promote healing. And in medieval Europe dill was used for love potions, casting spells and for protection against witchcraft. “Therewith her Veruayne and her Dill, That hindreth Witches of their will“ (Drayton, Nymphidia, 1627) . Carrying a bag of dried dill over the heart was considered protection against hexes.  I think that wearing red wine on your sweatshirt will do the same.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Exploding Things

This morning my daughter decided she wanted to play a game with plastic toy soldiers and giant legos that emulated a Wii game she likes to play with her brother.  The game is TANKS and it's basically a shooting and war game.   She asked me to play with her and I agreed, but after a couple of minutes I said, "you know I love you but this is a really boring game."  So she went and woke up her brother even though I asked her not to do so, and then he wouldn't play it with her either and so there was a big exploding argument between them.  Now the kids are in their own rooms and it's quiet and neither tanks nor kids nor mom's head are exploding.  Welcome to Saturday morning.

Breakfast just came out of the oven.  It's not hummus.  The kids think hummus is gross.  They still think kissing is gross, too, so what do they know?  Breakfast is crescent rolls, the kind that you make by first taking the paper off the roll and then banging the cardboard against the edge of the counter until it, well, explodes.  I LOVE doing that.

Apparently a bad batch of hummus can explode, too.  Fermenting bean juice in a closed container past the Best By date is potentially a weapon of mass destruction.  I've yet to experience this first hand myself, thank goodness.

I have had a battery explode in my kitchen once.  Actually it was when I lived in Ecuador in a two room "chozita" which means "little hut."  You may wonder why a hut would need to be identified as little.  Well, this was little even as huts go.  My kitchen was also my bedroom, living room, and library.  The other room was the bathroom, shower, laundry room.  I could almost cook from my bed.  So.  One day my camera battery died.  It was a weird kind of little battery not readily available in Ecuador, and I was kind of distressed because I liked taking a lot of pictures.  My man told me you could get a new battery like that in Ambato, an hour away by bus.  I was so bummed that I actually listened to him when he also said you can warm up a dead battery and it will last longer.  In a fit of magical thinking I agreed to let him heat it up on top of the stove in a skillet.  About the time I started to have second thoughts and really I'm sure I was about to say "nevermind, this seems like a really bad idea..." there was an explosion and black chemical dust settled all over the kitchen bedroom library room.  On me and my man and my books and my bed.  ACK!  Did I explode?  Yes, I confess I did. 

But I lived to tell about it, marry the man (more magical thinking), later divorce him ("never mind this seems like a really bad idea..."),  and come to love hummus.  And become friends with the man over the raising of our kids who play with tanks, and are now out of their rooms and playing nicely by my side.

When the kids were toddlers we would sit together on the love seat by the front window in the mornings and drink coffee (me) and juice (them) and say "This is the good life."  Last night the man stopped by in the evening to play a little Nerf Basketball with the boy, then stayed to sit on the couch and have a glass of wine and some homemade hummus with me.  And he said "This is the good life."  Which in a strange way, it really is.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Hummus Heads

So, I discovered that at the 2008 Fancy Food Show in New York City, the company Sabra Go Mediterranean featured a sculpture creating heads out of hummus.  Not just any heads.  No, they were of the presidential candidates Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain.

At least that is who the article I read SAID they were supposed to be.  It was pretty hard to tell looking at the photos.  Hummus not really being a sculpting medium of choice for most people. 

Marble, sure.  Wood, of course.  FIMO - you bet.  Clay- check.  Sand-  check.  Even butter-  check. (visit the Minnesota State Fair some year if you doubt me on that.)  But hummus?  Gooey and delicious and slimy hummus? 

And who would eat it afterward?  Or who would feel good about wasting perfectly good hummus.  Perfectly good until it became John McCain's nose or Hillary's ear, that is.  (Out of respect for the office of Guy Who Actually Won the Race, I'll leave B.O.'s body parts out of this discussion.)

Lucky for Sabra there's no GOP boycott of their products going on right now.  But don't let FOX News get wind of this ...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Day Without Hummus

I didn't eat any hummus yesterday.  I seem to have survived, although I must say I don't feel that great this morning.  I have a slight headache and I look a little pale when I see myself in the bathroom mirror.  Instead of hummus, I ate:  yogurt for breakfast, ham and cheese and cantaloupe for lunch.  Hush puppies and carrot cake for a pseudo-dinner with my book group.  Accompanied by some red wine and a few swigs out of a bottle of some powerful Southern Ice Tea that, well, my pastor brought and passed around.   We all tried to drink out of the bottle by tipping it back and not moving our heads.  Pam won that contest, looking like she does it all the time.  Though we suspect if Phyllis had been present she would have beaten her hands down.

So today, will I eat hummus?  I hope so.  Though Kathleen's comment question about mixing hummus and mucus have me feeling a little queasy.  I don't know what would happen if you mix them.  I don't want to know.  I don't want to think about it.  But, like an old song you hear on the radio that you didn't really like the first time around, it might be stuck in my head.  "Tweedly-deedly-dee, tweedly-deedly dee, rockin' robin, tweet, tweet, tweet..." is one example. 

You're welcome.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Our Chickpeas, Our Selves

There is no need to be embarrassed about your chickpeas. In fact, it is time to embrace your chickpea-ness (oh boy) and the best way to do that is with a small handheld mirror. 

Get into a comfortable position.  Take a can of your favorite brand of chickpeas.  Call Kathleen if you need a can opener as she has several extras in a drawer in her kitchen.  (see posting Invitation! from February 2010).  First, read the ingredients and the nutritional information.  Check the allergy warnings on the can before proceeding further.  If you are concerned about allergies, you might wish to put on a pair of latex-free gloves before continuing. 

Next take a few minutes just to feel the contours of the can.  Feel the weight of the can in your hands, on average about a pound.  But your can of chickpeas may be larger or smaller than average.  Do not worry about this, just embrace the size of your can of chickpeas.  (see posting Does Size Matter? from February 2010).

Now it is time to open your can.  There.  Be careful not to slice off any of your fingertips with the can opener.  Set the lid aside and look inside the can.  The first thing you see may disgust you.  It may make you feel sick to your stomach, or even want to take a photo to send to the website grossology.com (see posting Sans Tahini from March 2010).  IT IS JUST BEAN JUICE!  Don't be afraid.  Put your finger in and swish it around.  See, it can't hurt you.  The nuns were wrong.

Now drain off the bean juice, saving it for later if you plan to use this can of chickpeas to make hummus, and why wouldn't you?  There they are, those darling chickpeas.  If you are feeling Italian go ahead, call them your little garbanzos.  Take the mirror and angle it just so you can see all the way to the bottom of the can.  It's all good.

There, now you are ready to empty out the can into a bowl.  AHHH, aren't they just beautiful.  It's good to love our chickpeas.  And ourselves.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Hummus rap

Death by Chickpea

In the James Bond film For Your Eyes Only there is supposedly an assassination using poisoned chickpeas.  So says the Wikipedia entry for chickpeas.  Then I read the Wikipedia entry for that very film, and was forced (ack!) to read about other various means of death, all involving real weapons and creepy situations, but did not find the death by chickpea scene mentioned.  Alas.  I don't think I can sit through the movie to see if it is true, due to all the forementioned real weapons and creepy situations, not to mention that none of the women in the film will look like anyone who really exists.  So, I will just have to take Wiki's word for it.

I did find, upon googling "death by chickpea" a real and creepy poem about killing a chickpea by cooking it.  Then, a very funny chat among some Brits who were responding to a question written by "Anna" who wondered if she might die from eating garbanzos that were only soaked and not cooked, and kind of crunchy.  She ate them in a salad and thought they were supposed to be crunchy but later, after tummy ache began, started to have doubts.  The general consensus of the chat responders was YES, she might die and should get her life insurance policy up to date pronto.

Other interesting posts mentioned that if you soak garbanzos and then forget about them for a few days, your house will smell like someone has died, and if you have roommates they might actually kill you over the odor.
These were referred to as chickpeas from hell.

Back to "Anna"...the girl had a good attitude and only one regret.  Since she figured she might have already eaten her last meal, a salad, she wished she had put whipped cream on it.  My kinda gal.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Chickpea Soul

While perusing the worldwideweb this morning, I read a blurb about a film called "Cold Souls."  The film stars Paul Giamatti as an actor named Paul Giamatti.  He is in rehearsals for the Chekhov play Uncle Vanya.  The rehearsals are not going well for him and he feels frustrated, exhausted, and soul-heavy. Then in New Yorker magazine, he finds an article about the procedure of “soul extraction,” in which a man named Dr. Flintstein removes a person’s soul; the person, in turn, feels overwhelming relief; and the soul is shipped to a storage facility in New Jersey. Giamatti undergoes the procedure but is shocked to learn his soul resembles a chickpea. To make matters worse, his chickpea-shaped soul is traded on the Russian black market, and Giamatti, who decides soullessness isn’t quite what it’s cracked up to be, has to travel to St. Petersburg to reclaim it. 

The filmmaker was inspired by a dream she had about Woody Allen, in which his soul looked like a garbanzo bean. 

So, of course, I want to, and will, see this film.  But it also begs the question, what would our souls look like if we could extract them and put them in a box?  And another question, can I turn my weird-ass dreams into a film-making career?   And finally, did I just grind up Woody or Paul's soul in my food processor?  Ack!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

I found it!

I clicked the button COMPOSE instead of EDIT HTML on my New Post page and got the full toolbar including the Upload Photo icon.  HAHAHA~

Here are the assembled ingredients in their pre-hummus states.












And here is the final product.  Yum. 

I am finally feeling pretty hip again.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

I made hummus!

First step, get kids out of the house and take dog for a walk so he is tired and not interested in snooping around the kitchen.

Step two. Get recipe online.

Step three. Open bottle of Woop Woop Shiraz. Pour a glass and drink some. Yum. This is going to be good hummus.

Four. Assemble ingredients. (Chickpeas, tahini, lemon, garlic, salt, olive oil.) Take photo of assembled ingredients in hopes of later posting photos on this blog. More on this later.

Five. Find blender and put on countertop next to computer with online recipe. Feel pretty hip because you are using your VAIO instead of a Betty Crocker cookbook with oil-stained pages. Take photo of computer and blender, not realizing that when you try to upload photos to blog you will feel quite UNhip. But that's later. Have another sip of wine. Yeah, this is going to be really good hummus.

Six. Blend one clove of garlic in blender. Look at recipe which turns out to be confusing as to whether one or two cloves of garlic are needed. Add another clove just because you think they really DID mean to list "one clove of garlic" twice in the ingredient list. Hm.

Seven. More wine. Then add chickpeas with none of the juice (save it in a cup and photograph it because it's gross), the tahini, salt, lemon juice and blend at random settings on the blender. It's ALL good. Now realize you need that gross bean juice or at least some of it (yeah the recipe vaguely refers to that) and add to the blended chunks of future hummus. Blend again (on "ice chopping" just for fun.)

Step eight. Taste. Wow. Have some wine and then taste again. Get out the crackers. Take some more photos. Hahaha. The hummus is really garlicky (note to self, ONE clove next time) and salty (note to self, cut salt down to a half teaspoon) and a little lemony but that is okay. Add a little olive oil and blend again. Yummy. Have some more sips of wine, crackers, and hummus. MMMM. Put hummus in cut glass serving dish, top with a few unblended garbanzos and a little more olive oil. Oh yeah, this is going to be GREAT hummus.

Nine. Upload photos to computer then try to figure out where the heck that icon is that says "upload images"...fail to find it. Plan to call someone sometime to figure that out and offer to pay them with hummus and WOOP WOOP.

Ten. Eat more and blog about the whole experience. Someday there will be photos to boot!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Sans Tahini?

I read a recipe for hummus without tahini today. It seems quite simple and I could make it at home. The logic for making it without tahini was that tahini is expensive, kids don't usually like it, it is OILY, and tahini is expensive. The writer of the column that included the recipe also mentioned many many times her aversion to even thinking about "bean juice" in the can of garbanzos, which I share. But I must say that the sesame paste and oil in hummus is one of my favorite parts of the dish. I think.

Bean juice IS gross. I wonder if it is mentioned anywhere on the website grossology.com which my daughter's first grade teacher not only showed the kids in class but sent to me in an email at my daughter's request. There are recipes on that website for fake vomit, bloody-looking things, etc, all in the name of getting kids interested in science but really just getting them good at freaking out their moms. And the word FART was used several times in the website. So, I'm sure the teacher, who I dearly adore, has already heard from some parents about it.

But back to hummus...I suppose I could do a side-by-side comparison, if SOME GENTLE READER(s) want to help. We could make hummus with and without tahini. If I can find some in Bloomington-Normal, if I can afford it, and if I can find my food processor in the back of my corner cabinet. All of which seem do-able. Let the taste tests begin!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Swimming in hummus?

Gentle reader writes that she has a big black book with the word hummus in it. This begs the questions: Why is her black book not little like all the other references to black books ever made? why is Hummus in her book? Does she have it's phone number? Does her husband know? What else is in that book? I can only wonder!

This brings us to the alleged facebook group "hummus anonymous" which I looked up yesterday. A short lived group of a few months in 2005, a few young women who allegedly wanted to "swim in hummus." The last entry told a young woman who did not want to swim but only wanted to eat lots of hummus that she did NOT belong in the group and should "get out." Well. Then the group mysteriously disappeared from the face of facebook. Did they swim in hummus and disappear forever in the depths of the tahini? Were they wearing bikinis? They indeed looked like wahinis, but not from Hawaii...I think the group was restricted to people living in, of all places, New Hampshire. Well. I can only wonder!

This blog begs a third paragraph, yet time is running short as my day of parenting and working are about to take precedence. What will today bring? Well. I can only...you know.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Case of the Missing Hummus

In my efforts to keep my Gentle Reader (Note that this is singular, not plural. So far.) entertained, I was perusing my favorite big old red dictionary for hummus-related words, when I discovered a horrific fact: the word hummus is not in my favotite big old red dictionary! The horror!

Next I read through my Bible: no mention of hummus there either. (This is why I couldn't post yesterday, in addition to getting my kids off to school, working, eating some hummus, driving one kid to his dad's house after school, eating more hummus, going to a too long NCC steering committee meeting, eating more hummus, AND reading the entire Old and New Testaments or at least skimming them looking for the word hummus, I just was just plum worn out.) WHY didn't the writers mention that hummus was created on the 4th day "and it was good"? WHY didn't Jesus dip bread into hummus at the Last Supper.

Darwin does not seem to have mentioned the evolution of the garbanzo. Shakespeare's Sonnets regarding his love for hummus appear to have been lost to history.

Well, the list goes on and on, and I have things to do and hummus to eat. I hope someone will get to the bottom of this mystery!

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Hummuser

It slices, it dices, it makes Julliene Fries! Announcing the all new HUMMER model: the HUMMUSER. Originally, the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle could only transport people and things from place to place, climb trees, and double as a bullet proof vest. But now, the NEW HUMMUSER, available only through Macy's Housewares Department and at The Garlic Press, is TRULY Multipurposeful.

The standard vehicle is equipped with the greatest variety of kitchen gadgets known to humankind: choppers, dicers, blenders, presses, slotted spoons, pressure cookers, double boilers, corkscrews, cake decorators, can openers, bread-makers, and rotisseries, all available at the push of a button on the dashboard. Heat from the engine is recycled for warming, cooking, defrosting. Instead of an odometer, a calorie counter. No longer will you need to go home to prepare a gourmet meal, it can be ready at the end of the workday commute. And it runs on it's own biodiesel fuel waste-products. You will recuperate the original cost of the vehicle in about 2 or 3 generations on savings in gas alone!

The HUMMUSER is also available with optional ice cream maker, a microbrewery in the rear compartment, and an herb garden on the roof.

Don't just drive a vehicle, drive a HUMMUSER.